Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Trauma Informed Care Training Hits Needs Head-On image

On June 4 and 5, Ohio Christian University hosted over 150 participants attending the Southern Ohio Trauma Informed Care Training.

OCU undergraduate and graduate teacher education students as well as area educators, pastors, administrators, and social workers listened to informative sessions covering topics ranging from classroom teaching to social work case management.  They engaged in dynamic discussions, break-out activities and tasks that raised questions and prompted fresh thinking by even the most inquisitive participants.

Hosted by social workers Amanda Knotts and Bryston McKnight of The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, the training’s main theme was how to best help traumatized children enrolled in public school classrooms. The presenters hit head-on with force and passion the need for teachers and service providers to not only become informed but also transformed and compelled to take action.

Trauma is caused to anyone impacted by an event, or series of events, through physical, emotional, or social actions or behaviors that cause harmful, sometimes life-threatening, effects on mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Explaining that the majority of children, teens, and young adults have experienced traumas and are presenting one or more symptoms, the expert instructors presented best practices to help the workshop participants gauge pupils’ circumstances that impact their learning ability.  “Showing an understanding of their organic situations,” participant Carrie Kerr explains, “can make all the difference in showing pupils that you really care about their well-being.”

To get the most from this training, participants recalled specific techniques for avoiding re-traumatization while administering self-efficacy of resiliency.  For example, if a teacher suspects a pupil has been abused, the teacher should not ask questions that prod the pupil. However, if the child is willing to talk, then first carefully listening followed by speaking with a guidance counselor about completing an ACE Score assessment for that pupil will help gauge their exposure to and degree of abuse.

Understanding these scores, Knotts and McKnight explain will not necessarily solve the pupils’ problems, but it certainly is helpful as the teacher seeks to build trust and decrease fear, emotional injury, and physical injury, and to preserve the relationship in the classroom. “If a child acts reserved in class, but you know they play basketball, make an effort to show and support that,” explains McKnight.  “You wouldn’t believe how open-doors conversation can bring to healing trauma.”

ACE scores, self-efficacy, and avoiding re-traumatization are key techniques educators can use to produce successful student skills in the classroom that will carry over into traumatized children’s adulthood.  Participants discovered the science behind traumatized children’s decisions, patterns, and maladaptive behaviors.  The presenters busted common myths.  In turn, participants asked questions that tested assumptions through hands-on activities, questioning, and commentary.

Creating a warm and open atmosphere through group activities, participants learned not only how to approach children authentically, but how to predict, practice, and plan while reflecting, honoring, and connecting with those in whom they make contact.

As a former teacher and now department chair of Education, Valerie Jones encouraged participants to “use your connections to make connections.”  For educators, social workers, or professionals who work with those going through traumatizing situations, learning to help others through distressed circumstances is imperative to our identity and character as servants of Christ’s body.

“We provide these trainings because we want to help educators be armed with all the tools necessary to be an excellent teacher today, as well as give our OCU Teacher Education students professional development activities to help them prepare for the classroom and connect with educators and administrators,” concludes Jones.

Articles of Interest

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
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OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members

OCU Kappa Delta Pi Chapter Inducts 28 New Members image

Published: April 26, 2019

CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at Ohio Christian University, giving the welcome and prayer. Dr. Ann Shelly, of Kappa Delta Pi, installed the new members, the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter and the officers. Mr. Jonathan Davis,
CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO—Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is pleased to announce that 28 preservice educators have been invited and inducted into its membership through the Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter of Ohio Christian University. The initiation ceremony took place on April 9, 2019 at The Ministry and Performing Arts Center. The ceremony opened with Dr. Hank Kelly, Provost at
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2019 Georgia Commencement image

2019 Georgia Commencement

2019 Georgia Commencement image

Published: April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be out there in society being salt and light.” He further challenged them stating that “your community needs you, your city needs you and your country needs you”.    Terence Chatmon was the commencement
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be
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Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith

Archived Articles of Interest

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Preparing Super Teachers for Tough-Love Challenges  image

Published: February 20, 2018

In 2018, OCU’s Teacher Education Department is participating in classroom management skills training that addresses student development deficits.  Focusing on issues that impact learning, such as effects of divorce, poverty, and substance abuse, requires equipping teachers with proven intervention skills. To enable Teacher Education majors to succeed in this challenge, OCU is hosting a training workshop on trauma-informed care led by Pickaway County Board of Disabilities on June 4th and 5th.  Mandated by the State of Ohio, this practicum is offered for any teacher in Ohio at no cost
In 2018, OCU’s Teacher Education Department is participating in classroom management skills training that addresses student development deficits.  Focusing on issues that impact learning, such as effects of divorce, poverty, and substance abuse, requires equipping teachers with proven intervention skills. To enable Teacher Education majors to succeed in this challenge, OCU is hosting a
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Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
Lifelong Learning image

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning image

Published: January 2, 2018

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by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate growth, and you will yield a bountiful harvest of information and knowledge. –Matt Mayberry An education is important and prepares you to succeed in life, but if you do not continue to learn,
by Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU Provost As the soil of the Earth needs to be fed to blossom, our brains are the absorbent sponge waiting to be fed with new ideas and concepts. Water it daily to stimulate
Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Student Profile: AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example

Student Profile:  AYA Math Teacher Ed Major Leads by Example  image

Published: December 26, 2017

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Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to transform young lives. Serving as a ‘guinea pig’ for the new AYA curriculum with its advanced, yet enticing, and rigorous materials, Crowley’s goal for herself is not only propelling her into the
Clarissa Crowley, one of the first Adolescence to Young Adult Education (AYA) Mathematics majors at Ohio Christian University, set her sights high when she decided to major in STEM education to
Professor Larry Olson

Christmas in the Wesleyan Tradition

Professor Larry Olson

Published: December 6, 2017

An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and inspires the individual in society, the human condition? LO:  Sure.  Great question!  In our Integration of Faith and Psychology course, we talk about personality theories.  Why do we need them? 
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society